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SLEEP AND DREAMS

SLEEP AND DREAMS

Sleep is the scientifically defined unconscious state in which a person gets disconnected consciously from the outer world and relaxes all the body parts. In this state the voluntary functions of the body almost become still but the involuntary functions remain active with their speed slowing down. During sleep every one experiences another natural phenomenon called dreams. Dreams are scientifically defined as the picture portrayed by the normal functions of the brain during the unconscious state of body and this picture is seen by human beings themselves In this way human beings find themselves in a different world which is totally different form the normal world we see daily.

Sleep is required by every person (and by animals) and it plays a major role in making the body function properly. Deficiency of sleep may lead to many disorders which will disrupt the normal functioning of the human body. Generally, the required amount of sleep by a person varies with age. A newborn baby sleeps a lot more than an adult person and at the same time the natural time period which is required for sleeping at a particular age should be practiced in order to keep the body properly functioning.

Many cultures have their own interpretation regarding dreams. The scientific study of dreams is called "Oneirology" but a lot of different cultures associate dreams with spiritual meanings. These are mostly considered to be messages from God and these messages are sometimes translated by experts like.

For littlies, dreams really start becoming active in the toddler and pre-school years. This is a result of their little imaginations beginning to really develop. In turn, these dreams can be in the form of nightmares and night terrors and these are becoming more prevalent as a result of so much technology use. Parents can help reduce the amount of nightmares and night terrors by minimizing TV and technology use and having in place a good bedtime routine.

Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz offers a range of affordable sleep consultations packages to help children and parents suffering from sleep related issues. Head to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-consulting/ for more information.

TODDLER FOOD FUSSINESS

TODDLER FOOD FUSSINESS

Toddlers can be fussy and hard to feed. Whilst a lot of people will say “children will eat when they’re hungry and won’t starve”….it’s still important to ensure your little one is eating a healthy and balanced diet. Check out some of our tips below for helping to get your toddler more excited about meal time:

Finger food

Finger foods are fairly easy to prepare and something that is appealing to kids. They can pick the food up themselves to eat and finger food comes in lots of different forms. Sweet potato fries are not only delicious but they are healthy and something a lot of toddlers love. Cut up carrot, celery and capsicum can be served with a dip that your child likes. It might be a tad messy but we can’t win all of the battles! Any sort of vegetables that your child likes can be cut up for your little one to enjoy. Cheese and biscuits are often a popular choice also.

Fruit

Rich with sweetness, fruits are a go to in my house and the fruit bowl is always full. If your child refuses everything else offered to them, turn to fruit. Healthy and full of fibre….fruit is a great option for little ones.

Eggs

Eggs are both nutritious and fun to eat. There are so many different ways to cook eggs and they are packed full of protein for growing kids. A favourite in my house is a boiled egg served in an egg cup with soldiers (cut up toast to dip into the egg).

Choice

Whilst cooking can be a tiring task, a good way to get your little one eating is to provide them with choices. By ‘choices’ I don’t mean a choice of 10 meals or even 5. But, a choice of 2 to 3 different meal options gives your toddler some control which works well.

Get Involved

Lastly, toddlers love being a part of it. Get your little one to help you with different tasks in the kitchen. Let them watch the cooking process which may in turn make them more interested in eating what they have helped to make.

Generally a fussy toddler will grow out of bad eating habits as they get older. However, it’s important for parents to instill good eating habits in the household. Eating the wrong foods, not eating enough or eating too much can affect a child’s sleeping habits so it’s important to teach healthy habits from an early age. If you feel that your child’s diet is negatively impacting upon their sleep, Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz can help. Head to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-consulting/ for more information.

SIGNS THAT YOUR TODDLER IS READY TO CUT THE DAYTIME NAP

SIGNS THAT YOUR TODDLER IS READY TO CUT THE DAYTIME NAP

Cutting the daytime nap can be a difficult time for parents of toddlers. That 1-3 hour break in the middle of the day whilst your little one slept is no longer going to happen….and instead you enter the afternoon with a toddler who is tired. A question I get asked a lot is “when is the right time to cut the daytime nap out?” Well, there is not just ‘one’ age that makes it the right time. Generally speaking, most toddlers will cut out this nap between 3-4 years old…..but some may be earlier and some may be later. However, there are signs to look out for to suggest your little one is ready:

  • It’s getting increasingly difficult to get your toddler to sleep at naptime. This is one of the strongest signs that suggests it’s time to cut out the nap;
  • It’s getting increasingly difficult to get your toddler to sleep at bedtime. This suggests that they are getting too much sleep so it’s ready to cut the nap;
  • You cannot actually get your child to sleep at naptime and they don’t show any tired signs. This is suggesting that the extra daytime sleep is no longer needed;

Whilst some children may not experience any negative side effects to having the daytime nap cut out…..many children will also be very tired and cranky by the time the afternoon rolls around. Making the transition from one nap to no nap can be a difficult one. Some parents find that cutting out the nap only every second day to begin with to be quite helpful. Allowing them to nap every second day lets them catch up on sleep. It will be clear to parents as to whether their child is tired by the end of the afternoon. Whilst this is normal and something they will adjust to……it also might mean that napping every second day is a good option. Rest time is important for young children who are not napping. Rest time could be something like lying down and reading some books or just some other form of quiet play.

Whilst making this transition, you might find that bedtime needs to be adjusted and brought forward. Putting your little one to bed earlier allows them the extra sleep time that they are missing out on from the daytime sleep. You might bring the bedtime forward by 30-45 minutes as your toddler is excessively tired by this time.

Making any change in a toddler’s life takes time. But, they will adjust and this is just another stage to work through.

If you are experiencing problems making the transition Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz are here to help. Go to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-consulting/ for more information.

TERRIBLE TWO’S AND TANTRUM THREE’S

TERRIBLE TWO'S AND TANTRUM THREE'S

Every parent loves their children but there will always come a time when that love is pushed to the limit. Toddlers are cute and funny but the toddler years can also be a nightmare. The terrible twos are called that for good reason. Sometimes just being prepared can make all the difference in the world and can prevent those outbursts of chaos known as the temper tantrum. There are some ways to better handle the outbursts but no two children are alike. Not every method works for every child but there are certain solutions that work overall for these typical behaviors.

Frustration is the primary cause of the temper tantrum and the frustration can be boiled down usually three things. They are either tired, hungry or a good combination of both. The tantrums usually happen at an inconvenient time. Of course no time is truly convenient. The terrible twos are when the frequency and intensity of the temper tantrum generally tends to increase.

Tips To Get Through The Terrible Twos and Tantrum Threes

Keep a journal. Write about every frustration, every tantrum, every humorous moment–yes, there will be many of each. Someday, when you have more energy, you may find you actually have a book. You might even want to consider two journals: one that is strictly your personal thoughts that no one will ever see until you write your book and the other for your child–a reflection of those early years as he/she matures. Older children love reading about themselves.

Do lots of outings and special activities at home. I know that sounds impossible with a two-year-old but persevere. Your outings might be for the location–zoo, butterfly pavilion, etc, or outings might have a specific purpose–find blue things, find flowers, find 3"s, or do story-time at the library.

Give your toddler a safe place to release their anger and emotion. Sometimes, letting it all out really does help them feel better rather than suppressing the frustrations and keeping the emotions bottled up.

Try your very best to remain calm. This is hard but any outwardly expressed anger or frustration will elevate the force of the tantrum. Pick up your child and hug them while whispering something interesting into their ear.

Remove the child from wherever it happens to be that the temper tantrum is taking place and tell them that they can only come back when they are finished and they are smiling. Once they do return, talk to them about what just went on. Try and find out what it was that set them off and how you both may prevent it from happening again in the future.

Simply ignore the temper tantrum if at all possible. Do not listen or react in any way while the child is screaming. This will help instil the understanding that the proper way to get your attention is to talk to you, not to scream at you.

For more tips and information about toddlers go to www.sleepystarz.com

Life as a First Time Parent with Twins

Life as a First Time Parent with Twins

It’s hard enough taking care of one infant, let alone two. But we were up to the challenge and were so excited when we found out that we would be having twins. Whether it was the right way or the wrong way, I did not read any parenting books prior to their arrival. Maybe I should have, but I really felt that my instincts would kick in and the advice from my big sister who had three children of her own would be free flowing. I was told however, that unless one is reading things specifically geared toward twins many of the things do not apply.

Truth be told it was a bit maddening to sleep train them in the beginning as soon as one went down the other would wake up. We chose the method of going in every few minutes at increasing intervals to let them know we were there and they were safe. I will admit, I did go against my sister’s advice and I did pick them when they cried. The quick pat or rub on the back only inflamed them when they just wanted to be cuddled. When they are both screaming at the top of their lungs the only thing I could think about was getting them to stop. We did swaddle them in the early months and this certainly helped them to feel secure. They have been sleeping from 7 to about 7 since they were 5 months old…..which I feel so grateful for. They sleep in the same room and have gotten used to the other one’s noises. Now they are a source of comfort for one another and play and "talk" until they fall asleep.

I was definitely a fan of the dummy……anything that could give me a five minute reprieve from the noise. As they reached around 10 months I limited the dummy use to their cots only and over the next two months reduced the number of dummies in their cot to one which they began to throw on the floor.

When they were 13 months, I decided it was time to pull the dummies out completely. We spent several days telling them the dummy fairy was coming and they would give it to her. In return they would get a present. We went to the supermarket and bought balloons and tied their dummiesto them and sent them up in the sky. It was heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time. It took a few days of adjustment but both are sleeping fine.

I also believe in routine and structure….whatever you want to call it. I have two babies with distinct personalities and they are both happy and easy going. I believe their routine has helped them to feel safe. They have predictability in each and every day which I think has helped them be free from worry. They go down easy and wake up easy with very little crying.

I am no expert on any of this….it really has been more a function of doing whatever needs to be done to reduce the amount of noise that twins can bring. In the end if any of these things have worked to keep them feeling safe and loved then I am thrilled. Trust your gut and figure out the routine that works best for you, your babies and family and stick with it.

TEN TOILET TRAINING TIPS

TEN TOILET TRAINING TIPS

Toilet training can be a challenging and frustrating time for both the child and the parent. I just finished toilet training my 2 year old and it it actually happened quite quickly…..though there were a couple of hiccups along the way.

Have a read through our tips to make the process a little smoother:

  • Before you begin toilet training watch for signs that indicate your child is ready. Some ѕignѕ inсludе hiding whеn filling thеir nарру, hаving a dry nарру fоr еxtеndеd periods аnd thеn filling it in оnе gо, tаlking about tоilеt hаbitѕ, bеing аwаrе оf others tоilеting, bоwеlѕ mоvеmеntѕ thаt аrе рrеdiсtаblе tо a dеgrее аnd learning the skill of pulling their own pants up and down.
  • Don’t rush it! There ѕееmѕ tо be a pressure аmоngѕt mother’ѕ grоuрѕ аѕ tо whо саn hаvе thеir сhild tоilеt trаinеd thе еаrliеѕt but there is no rush. Children learn in their own time and there is no ‘right age’ of when you should begin.
  • Wаit until the wеаthеr iѕ wаrmеr – where роѕѕiblе. Wаrm wеаthеr mеаnѕ уоur toddler саn run аrоund bоth indoors аnd оutdооrѕ in juѕt undiеѕ. Thiѕ mаkеѕ fоr juѕt one ԛuiсk lауеr tо bе рullеd dоwn in thе ruѕh to thе роttу and if ассidеntѕ hарреn then thеу are more likеlу tо bе оutdооrѕ and this makes for a muсh less stressed саrеr.
  • Prераrе the child fоr potty trаining. Thеrе аrе a number of bооkѕ written about toilet trаining and bу rеаding thеѕе tо сhildrеn thеу bеgin to associate with either a tоilеt оr a роttу. Tаlk аbоut toilet training to your little one and invove them in the process of buying a new potty or toilet training seat. You саn even rоlе play with teddies оr dоllѕ.
  • Make the pоttу arеа exсiting. If a роttу аrеа iѕ inviting with books, rеwаrd stickers аnd ѕресiаl роttу timе toys thеу аrе mоrе likеlу tо ѕtау and wаit tо dо thеir buѕinеѕѕ.
  • Sеt thе child uр fоr suссеѕѕ. Givе thе child a lаrgе drink аnd sit thеm оn thе роttу about hаlf аnd hоur tо 45 minutes lаtеr. Stay with thеm аnd read оr play until they need to go. Thiѕ аllоwѕ thе сhild to have ѕuссеѕѕ аnd ѕhоwѕ thеm what the рrосеѕѕ iѕ аll аbоut. Givе thеm praise аnd еnсоurаgеmеnt whеn the process iѕ ѕuссеѕѕful.
  • If using a potty, place it near the child plауing. Identifying that the urge to go to the toilet is present is crucial in a toddler toilet training.
  • Prераrе thе envirоnmеnt fоr potty trаining. The аim iѕ tо hаvе the environment аѕ rеlаxеd as роѕѕiblе.
  • Keep your cооl. Being соnѕtаntlу on thе lооk оut fоr ѕignѕ оf needing to gо and constantly аѕking your сhildif they need to go can be taxing! Sеt uр the rest of уоur ѕсhеdulе tо bе ѕimрlе ѕо thаt уоu hаvе еnоugh еnеrgу tо kеер your cool.
  • Motivate your child. In the саѕе оf mу dаughtеr, ѕhе was wеll and trulу ready to tоilеt trаin аnd juѕt needed mоtivаting. Thiѕ саn be as simple аѕ ѕtiсkеrѕ оr ѕtаmрѕ.

www.sleepystarz.com

MOVING A TODDLER FROM A COT TO A BED

MOVING A TODDLER FROM A COT TO A BED

You can help your child make the transition from sleeping in a cot to a bed when you and your child are ready. You will find this transition is the easiest to manage after your child is 3 years of age. However, all children are different and there may be reasons present that require this transition to occur at an earlier age.

Safety is always the most important consideration as to whether your child should make the transition. If your little one is climbing out of the cot or is too big for the cot then for safety reasons, you should move them into their bed. However, if your toddler is climbing out of their cot but you don’t feel they are ready to make the transition then a portacot is a good option to try. Generally, the sides of a portacot are more difficult to climb out of so it’s worth a try in using it as a replacement until your child is ready to make the transition.

Actually making the transition from the cot to the bed is a big event in a little child’s life. They have gone from the safety of 4 sides around them and being contained in a little space to having nothing keeping them in. In the toddler years it’s normal that they want to explore and use their imaginations. This means it can bring a whole new level of stress to parents who can’t keep their little one in their bed.

Here are some tips from experienced parents, on how to help your child with the transition from cot to bed:

  • Preparation;

    Talk to your child about the change that is soon coming. If possible, put the bed into the child’s room before making the transition so they can get used to it being there. Some parents even like to use the bed for daytime naps only for a little while to get their child used to the change before making the transition for night time too.

  • Involvement;

    Children want to be a part of everything and transitioning from cot to bed is no different. Get your little one involved in the transition process by letting them choose a new doona cover or something similar.

  • Routine;

    Having a positive bedtime routine in place is vital to making the transition a smooth one. Parents should keep the bedtime routine the same as it was to when the child was in the cot. And, keep it consistent! Children strive off routine but it needs to be the same every night.

  • Rewards;

    There’s nothing wrong with rewarding a child who does the right thing and stays in bed throughout the night. Parents can use a sticker reward chart or something similar to reward their child for when they do the right thing.

  • Sleep Training Clock;

    Toddler sleep training clocks are a great tool for teaching children when it’s time for sleep and when they are allowed to get out of bed in the morning. Children associate night time with sleep, but during periods of daylight savings it can get confusing for little ones in understanding that it’s bedtime while still light outside. The best sleep training clock on the market is the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock. It has more features than any other clock on the market. The clock not only teaches children when it’s time for bed and when to stay in bed but it also gets them excited about going to bed and involved in the bedtime process.

For more information about the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock head to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-clock/

HOW THE CIRCADIAN RHYTHM WORKS

HOW THE CIRCADIAN RHYTHM WORKS

Babies sure are cute, aren’t they? Pure joy……but they do have their moments. If you’re a new mother, you’re probably already wondering how to get your baby to sleep through the night. It’s a matter of trial and error, the process of elimination and most importantly….time.

As adults, our bodies run on a 24-hour clock called circadian rhythm. Babies, on the other hand, are entirely different. Newborns have to develop their own circadian rhythm and this can take several weeks. By four to six weeks, a baby’s circadian rhythm becomes more pronounced and at six months it really starts to kick in….this is one of the reasons a lot of parents report sleeping problems at 6 months of age.

In essence it is our body’s internal system that responds to external stimuli which are things such as natural sunlight, food, exercise and social interaction. Early studies have found that if all the external stimuli are removed, your circadian rhythm runs on a 25 hour cycle. If you then return external cues such as sunlight, it automatically resets itself to run in time without 24 hour clock. So, in effect your body knows what time of the day it is. This is a real problem for shift workers because when you are ready to go to work, your circadian rhythm is telling you to go to bed and vice versa in the morning. So it’s a constant fight against your body.

In order to fully maximize your sleep, you need to time it to a very specific window within your circadian rhythm. This is basically the time in which your body decides that it is time to sleep which is in line with nighttime and darkness. If you can do this your body will be in harmony with your sleeping pattern and you will indeed find that you will have the best sleep of your life.

If you try to do this it is really important to establish a consistent sleep routine. This involves going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time ever morning. If you sleep in on weekends your internal clock is always playing catch up. Napping for adults or napping too late in the day for little ones can wreak havoc on our circadian rhythms.

The body’s circadian rhythm is the control system that regulates when babies get hungry, digest your food, produce urine and bowel movements and regulate blood pressure and body temperature. With so many critical bodily functions so closely intertwined to these rhythms you can begin to see why any disruption could create health issues. The crossing of multiple time zones when traveling creates a new environment that your body will be forced to synchronize all of these behaviors and functions to.

With so many factors working against a healthy, stable, well regulated body cycle we should all do everything we can to hedge against these known external influences. Better preparing for trips or following best practices when sick can help alleviate additional symptoms that could be prevented.

For help in getting your little one to sleep through the night go to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-consulting/ to see Sleepy Starz’ affordable sleep consultation packages.

Getting Rid of the Dummy

Getting Rid of the Dummy

Ask any mum and you’ll find out how difficult it can be to wean your children from their beloved dummy. Every child who uses a dummy loves their dummy…..-it’s been a source of comfort and security in them. So naturally, most parents have found it to be a struggle when the time has come to toss the dummy.

Here are a few tips to help make the transition easier for you and your little one easier:

  • Look for signs that weaning that your child might be ready. Signs might come in the form of less use, throwing their dummy out of their cot, falling asleep on occasion without the dummy. If you can get the timing right, the transition will be easier.  
  • Find another source of comfort for the child.
  • Prepare your child for it. Talk to them about the dummies going away because they are such a big boy/girl now. Some people like to do it a Christmas time so Santa can take them in return for a present.
  • Decide whether you are going to go cold-turkey and get rid of all dummies all at once or make it a more gradual process.

Cold Turkey

  • If you have decided with the cold turkey approach, make sure you stay strong. Once all dummies have been taken away, ensure that you don’t give in and give one back just to stop the crying.
  • Make sure that you have talked to your child about taking away their dummies instead of doing it without them being prepared.
  • Be prepared for a few days/nights with some extra crying and need for extra comfort. Going cold-turkey can be hard but with some extra cuddles and comfort, most children will be fine after only a few days.

Gradual Method

  • Talking to your child and preparing them is just as important as the cold turkey method.
  • Start by taking away a couple of dummies and limiting access to them. Gradually increase the number of dummies taken away until there is just one left and then none.
  • Limit use of the dummy during the day. Your little one will slowly start getting used to the limited use.
  • Start by taking the dummy away at day time sleeps and use it only for night time sleeps.

Getting rid of the dummy can be a stressful time for both the parent and the child. Offering extra cuddles and attention can be really helpful but consistency and persistence are the most important thing. Any big changes take time so having a realistic expectation that it might take a few days or even a week or so is crucial.

If you find that your little one’s sleep is still being affected after a couple of weeks then it’s worth getting help. Sleep Consulting by Sleepy Starz offers a range of affordable sleep consultation package. To view the packages go to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-consulting/

What Does the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock Do?

What Does the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock Do?

The Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock is a revolutionary toddler sleep training clock recommended for children aged 2 years plus. The clock teaches children the concept of time and when it’s sleep time through child friendly images in which the child can relate to. It has more features than any other sleep clock on the market worldwide and was granted an Australian patent in 2016. The Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock currently has a worldwide patent pending.

Toddlers do not have the ability to read the time. Therefore, the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock inventors and co-founders of Sleepy Starz Pty Ltd came up with the idea to teach children the time for sleep through images. This is especially helpful at the beginning of daylight savings and the end of daylight savings when the light outside changes making it confusing for children.

There are 7 different loveable scenes in which the parent and/or child can choose from as well as 3 different sleep settings. The team at Sleepy Starz understand that every child is different and every child is going to learn in different manners. This is what makes the clock so remarkable…..it can be customized to suit the nature of the child and the way they learn.

The parent can set the wake up time in which they are happy for their child to get out of bed in the morning. The clock also includes a lock feature, so little fingers cannot change any of the settings pre-set in the clock. The 15 minute countdown timer within the clock is a fantastic feature used to help prepare children for sleep time. 15 minutes before the parent wants their child to go to sleep is when to set the 15 minute countdown timer in place so bedtime does not come as a shock. During these 15 minutes is a great time to read the 7 page picture story book featured within the clock about Sleep Tight Ted (the free teddy bear included in every clock purchase). The brightness controller is perfect for controlling the light/dark of the screen and can be set to whatever sort of light works best for the child in their room.

Mid 2017, the Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock was featured on Channel 7’s Today Tonight. Further, feedback from customers across Australia has been phenomenal. Parents are reporting that their children are sleeping through the night in as little as 2-3 nights.

To purchase your Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock head to www.sleepystarz.com/sleep-clock/

Sleepy Starz Sleep Clock

 

Our Clock is not available until early 2017. Please come back soon! Thank you

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